According to WEEI’s Evan Drellich, the Red Sox have reportedly placed catcher Sandy Leon on waivers.
This news comes as not too big of a surprise, given the fact that Boston was looking to trade or move on from one of Leon, Christian Vazquez, or Blake Swihart since the beginning of the offseason due to them not wanting to carry three catchers on their Opening Day roster this year.
Leon, 30, was initially acquired from the Washington Nationals prior to the start of the 2015 of season in exchange for cash considerations.
In his four years with the Red Sox, the Venezuela native slashed .229/.289/.347 with 19 home runs and 99 RBI over 293 games and exactly 1000 plate appearances.
More recently, he went 7/30 with one home run and five RBI over 37 plate appearances this spring.
A well-respected member of the club and more specifically the pitching staff, Leon’s presence will surely be missed in the Boston clubhouse.
“No disrespect to any other catcher I’ve thrown to, but he’s the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to,” said Rick Porcello after a start in which he allowed one run over seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies back in August.
“His game-calling, he’s prepared for every start, for every pitcher, starting or bullpen,” Porcello quipped. “He’s kind of the heartbeat of our pitching staff. We rely on him a lot. He’s always on point, he always knows what pitches to throw. Gives guys different looks. He’s as good as it gets as a game-caller and a catcher.”
Regardless of how the players felt, the higher-ups clearly valued Swihart and Vazquez over Leon. That much is evident by the rumors that Boston was shopping the ex-National in trade talks as recently as last week.
Set to earn $2.48 million in 2019, Leon will remain on waivers for the next 48 hours, where he will either be claimed or cleared and then have the choice to remain with the Red Sox organization at Triple-A Pawtucket or become a free agent.
On another note, Drellich also reports that the Red Sox have informed Swihart that he has indeed made the team.